Skip to main content


Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many local authorities have obtained capital funding to support the delivery of stimulating local places to play since the publication of the children's plan; (247195)

(2) how many of the proposed new adventure playgrounds referred to on page 101 of his Department's Annual Report have been built;

(3) when the (a) play strategy and (b) outcomes of the consultation on the strategy was published.

In April 2008 a first wave of 63 (20 Pathfinder and 43 Playbuilder) local authorities started receiving their play capital and revenue funding. By April 2009, all local authorities will have been offered funding of at least £1 million.

On average over the course of the programme, each play Pathfinder authority will receive around £2 million capital funding and £500,000 revenue funding, and each Playbuilder authority will receive around £1 million capital and £45,000 revenue funding.

Each play Pathfinder authority will deliver a staffed adventure playground to support local children most in need of improved play opportunities. Wave 1 Pathfinders are scheduled to complete 20 adventure play grounds in total by April 2010, and are on track to do so. The wave 2 Pathfinders starting in April 2009 have until 2011 to deliver 10 adventure playgrounds in total.

The Play Strategy was on launched Wednesday 10 December 2008, by a written ministerial statement, Official Report, column 51WS—and a launch event at the White Horse Adventure Playground, Tower Hamlets, attended by my noble Friend Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children.

The Play Strategy directly responds to a huge consultation response, including over 9,400 responses from children and young people themselves. 12 per cent. of responses came from disabled children. Key findings from the consultation response are highlighted throughout the Play Strategy document. Children, young people and families were clear that they want improved local play opportunities that are safe and exciting, and communities that are more child-friendly.